Last updated: Wednesday, January 23, 2019


Vietnam-Russia Railway Transport Cooperation: Much Potential Needs to Be Tapped

Posted: Friday, June 09, 2017

In 2016, Vietnam entered a trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union, which was expected to help the country raise the trade value with the Russian Federation. Transport plays an important role in the bilateral comprehensive strategic cooperation. However, Vietnam-Russia transport cooperation is incommensurate with its potential. At present, the two nations mainly cooperate in the railway sector. Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Mr Vu Ta Tung, General Director of Vietnam Railways Corporation (VNR), on this issue. Nguyet Tham reports.

How do you assess Vietnam-Russia cooperation in transport sector and particularly the railway sector? Is it commensurate with the potential and demand for transport infrastructure development in Vietnam?
The railway transport cooperation between Vietnam and Russia, as with the former Soviet Union, was formed and developed during the course of national construction and protection in Vietnam. The ties started on August 1, 1955 when Hanoi-Beijing-Moscow-Berlin international railway was officially opened, and this artery route played an important role in Vietnam’s national construction and protection. In the railway transport infrastructure, Thang Long Bridge - the largest overland railway bridge across the Red River - is still one of the living symbols for Vietnam-Russian Federation railway transport cooperation.

Vietnam’s demand for rail transport infrastructure development is huge. The Government of Vietnam issued the “Decision approving the Vietnam railway transport development strategy to 2020, with a vision to 2050” and the “Decision approving the master plan for Vietnam railway transport development to 2020, with a vision to 2030”, which included the construction of North-South high-speed railway and the construction of railways linking seaports and economic zones and connecting with international and Asia-Europe railway transportation corridors.

Based on Vietnam’s needs and Russia’s capacity in railway infrastructure development cooperation, it can be seen that the potential for railway transportation cooperation between Vietnam and the Russian Federation is very promising, as it is a complementary and win-win cooperation.

Would you share some cooperation between Vietnam Railways Corporation with Russian partners? What does this cooperation mean to the corporation in particular and Vietnam-Russia strategic cooperation ties in general?
Vietnam Railways Corporation has a close relationship with Open Joint Stock Company Russian Railways. The two countries’ railways are members of the Organisation for Cooperation between Railways (OSJD) and the International Union of Railways (UIC).

On May 14, 2013, Vietnam Railways Corporation, Russia Railways Joint Stock Company and An Vien Joint Stock Company signed a “Comprehensive Cooperation Agreement” to strengthen their strategic cooperation relationship in developing and upgrading the railway system of Vietnam. As of May 15, 2014, specialists of signing parties had completed basic research reports on investment preparation for “Railway construction investment project from Bu Dang (Binh Phuoc) to seaport” project.
On April 6, 2015, the Vietnam Railways Corporation and the Russian Railways Joint Stock Company signed a cooperation agreement on enhancing bilateral railway relations to an important strategic partnership. This is a solid foundation for present and future cooperation between the two countries’ railways.

In addition, Vietnam Railways Corporation is looking for cooperation opportunities with Russian railway engineering development companies such as Uralvagonzavod (Russian machine building company) and Unified Train Car Joint Stock Company.

On the occasion of the Russian visit by the President of Vietnam and the Vietnam-Russia Business Forum, do you have any suggestion to further promote bilateral economic and commercial cooperation both in depth and in dimension? What are some projects that you want to cooperate on with Russian partners?
Our Vietnam Railways Corporation proposes Vietnam-Russia railway transportation cooperation in the following directions:

Developing railway logistics transport between Vietnam and the Russian Federation, operating container trains, further promoting bilateral economic and commercial cooperation in the context of the effectiveness of Vietnam-Eurasia Economic Union Free Trade Agreement (FTA) from October 5, 2016.

Strengthening cooperation in railway transport infrastructure development investment in Vietnam, including Ho Chi Minh City-Loc Ninh railway in the framework of the Trans-Asia Railway Network; building a railway linking Dak Nong to seaports and other projects within the framework of the master plan for Vietnam railway transportation development.

Promoting and expanding two-way economic relations, particularly research, production and supply of cars, machines, equipment and materials used for railway infrastructure construction and train safety equipment. We invite Russian companies to become strategic shareholders of affiliated companies of Vietnam Railways Corporation in the above fields.


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